Plant of the week

November 29, 2008|By Shelley McNeal, Maryland Cooperative Extension Service

Sky Pencil Holly:

Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil'

With its skyward-reaching growth habit, Sky Pencil holly lends architectural interest to home entryways or corners. Unlike many shrubs that outgrow their planting space in five to 10 years, this delightful, slender evergreen stays inbounds. It is densely branched and has lustrous dark green, tiny leaves that are soft to the touch. Reaching a mature size of only 12 to 18 inches wide by 6 to 8 feet tall, this holly is planted successfully at the National Arboretum in large containers, where it makes a formal appearance and can be underplanted with annuals and bulbs. It likes moist, well-drained, slightly acid soil in sun or shade.

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